Client is fronted by Client B (Sarah Blackwood of Dubstar fame) and Client A (Kate Holmes of Frazier Chorus) and the two mean business, producing electro-pop numbers that alternate between dark, grimy dancefloor beats and starkly forlorn ballads with archly dispassionate, British-accented, crisply-delivered vocals. On their fourth studio album, which still isn’t available in the U.S., Clients A and B meld their urban malaise and melancholy so that the cool, brittle ballads are more up-tempo and the grittier tunes are softened by strings.
The gritty slow burn of “Your Love is like Petrol” is vintage Client with its low-boil rumble of thumbed bass, steady, mid-tempo beat, tambourine tap, and coolly burbling electronics. Client A’s (or is it Client B?) subdued, slightly manipulated, sing-talking vocals wrap around a jagged synth line as she repeats the words “junkie love” chased by a wasp-like guitar line.
The next number, “Can You Feel”, jumps right into a constant, up-tempo, hard beat with growling, running bass line, whispered vocals, and minor key synth notes that rise on the chorus. When Client A murmurs in a velvet hush that “I’m falling…in love with you.”, it comes off as a surprise to both her and the listener.
A chill is in the air on “Don’t Run Away” with its Cranes-like, reverberating antique piano notes, flat-smacked beat, and pervasive blanket of low synth sound dotted with high-pitched, wavering synth notes. The sing-talking lyrics of “Sleep now with a smile on your face / ‘cause, baby, loneliness awaits.” is delivered with detachment. “Make Me Believe in You” belongs on the dancefloor with its persistently thwacking club beat, crackles of static, squelchy synth notes, and pulled strings.
Another classic Client cut is “Lullaby” with its contrast of Depche Mode-like fat, grimy bass ‘n’ synth lines and laser blips and clear, light piano notes. The clipped, talking vocals on the verses are unemotional as Client A intones “Virtue, vice / ignorance, bliss.” and “Convention, obey / this is the only way.”, while on the chorus higher, sweeter vocals find purchase.
“Ghosts” features haunting, Western guitar reverb, warmer pulled strings that lift up the vibe, Depeche Mode-like high synth notes, and distorted guitars as Client A sings in a softly desolate tone “I’m talking to ghosts / I’m talking to fools / I’m talking to walls / I’m through with you.” The temperature level sinks to freezing on the ice-cold “Satisfaction” with Client A fully in control, stating bluntly “Ignite desire, deny your mind / hotwire desire, command your mind.” amid a handclap beat and full electronic backdrop including hard, high-pitched sonics and changing-frequency whistling.
The no-muss, no-fuss glam of “Son of A Gun” kicks it up with a jaunty, whip-crack beat, buzzing bass grind, blippy synth notes, and winsome, but friskily-delivered lyrics of “Like my style, like my tricks / ‘cause you’re one son of a gun.” The beat of “Blackheart” thumps with the alacrity of a techno tune as subterranean synths and R2-D2-like electronic squirks run rampant while the distanced, sing-talking vocals speak of the black heart of the city and to “…Never stop / show me what you got.” Revving engines zoom through “Soldier” along with a speedy beat, driving bass line, high register synths, and the lifestyle-questioning lyrics “Get drunk, I get high / get home and wonder why.”